"Impressive... There are pictures in this show you will remember forever"

Will Gompertz, BBC


The Guardian

"Casts modernism in a new light"

The Economist

"A revelation"

The Observer

This was the first exhibition to explore the 'cool' in American art in the early 20th century, from early experiments in abstraction by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Paul Strand to the strict, clean precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth . 

This exhibition included incredible loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, including 35 paintings that had never been seen in the UK before.

In the Jazz Age of the ‘roaring’ 20s, and the ensuing Great Depression of the 30s, many American artists expressed their uncertainty about the rapid modernisation and urbanisation of their country by producing work that had a cool, controlled detachment and a smooth, precise finish.

This exhibition brought together some of the greatest works ever made by American artists – iconic pieces which revealed this fascinating aspect of American interwar art.


This exhibition and its publication was made possible with the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional support was received from Mr Barrie & Mrs Deedee Wigmore, Huo Family Foundation (UK) Limited, Marica & Jan Vilcek, and the Patrons of the Ashmolean.


Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Dawn in Pennsylvania, 1942. Oil on canvas, 61.9 x 112.4 cm. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, Chicago © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art.